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KUNM News Update
6:17 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Wednesday News Roundup: Albuquerque Teachers To Get Pay Raises Under Pact

Albuquerque Teachers To Get Pay Raises Under PactThe Associated Press

A tentative agreement between Albuquerque's public school system and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation calls for teachers and other educators to get pay raises.

An announcement by the district and the union says teachers and other educators will get a raise of the greater of $2,000 or 3 percent.

The state budget for the upcoming fiscal year provides funding for minimum raises for all teachers but only required raises for entry-level ones.

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Local News
7:05 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

"Blunt Adjustments" To The State's Medical Marijuana Program Explained

Proposed rule changes to New Mexico's medical marijuana program would drastically raise fees.
Credit eggrole via Flickr

After a survey last fall of card carrying medical marijuana patients in New Mexico found demand out-stripped supply, the state Department of Health has been under direct orders from a district judge to solve an annual 8,000 pound medical marijuana shortage.

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Local News
5:31 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Udall Calls For Investigation Of Albuquerque VA Hospital

Credit expertinfantry via Flickr / Creative Commons License

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall has called for federal authorities to broaden their investigation into alleged secret waiting lists at VA hospitals to include Albuquerque after whistleblower reports that the VA hospital in New Mexico's largest city is plagued with problems.

The Veterans Affairs Department is grappling with allegations of treatment delays, preventable deaths and a cover up by top administrators that were first reported in the VA system in Arizona.

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Local News
9:23 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Tuesday News Roundup: Medical Marijuana OK'd For Injured Worker

Medical Marijuana OK'd For Injured Worker  The Associated Press

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has ruled that a worker's employer and its insurer must pay for medical marijuana for treating the employee's chronic pain from a job-related back injury.

The court upheld a decision by a workers' compensation judge that medical marijuana was "reasonable and necessary medical care" from a health care provider under terms of workers' compensation law.

The worker had a 99 percent permanent partial disability.

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-KUNM Studio Sessions
12:43 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

HiSS

HiSS Live in Studio A. Full session audio.
On May 14 we welcomed rock trio HiSS into Studio A to record their originals and two covers, all developed as students in the Rock 101 program.
 
HiSS are:
Camelia Ceniceros: lead vocals, guitar
Bela Ceniceros: bass, keyboards, vocals
Beia Smith-Shaw: drums, vocals

Engineered and edited by Roman Garcia, video by Jefferson White.

The band was joined by Kyle Ruggles and Kevin Herig of Rock 101 to talk about how a group whose eldest member is 13 developed so rapidly.

Keep up with HiSS at www.hissofficial.com. Learn more about the Rock 101 program at www.rock101nm.com.

KUNM News Update
8:40 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Monday News Roundup: New Mexico Says 57 Nuke Containers Could Be Threat

New Mexico Says 57 Nuke Containers Could Be Threat  -  The Associated Press

The New Mexico Environment Department says Los Alamos National Laboratory packed 57 containers of nuclear waste with a type of kitty litter thought to have caused a radiation leak at the federal government's troubled repository.

Department Secretary Ryan Flynn on Monday gave the lab two days to submit a plan for fixing the problem, saying the barrels may "present an imminent and substantial threat" to public health and the environment.

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KUNM News Update
8:53 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Weekend News Roundup: Wildfire Near Silver City At 60 Percent Containment

Wildfire Near Silver City At 60 Percent Containment - The Associated Press

Crews have containment lines around 60 percent of a southwestern New Mexico wildfire as they go up against dry and windy conditions.

Fire managers said Sunday an "initial attack crew" is on standby in case hot spots flare up inside the 9-square-mile Signal Fire burning in the Gila National Forest.

They say high winds and dryness make the scenario extremely likely.

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Entertainment
6:13 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Introducing Young Audiences to the World of Opera

A scene from the Santa Fe Opera's Family Opera Production.
Credit www.santafeopera.org

Professional singers perform in three short original operas for young people in the open-air Gaddes Rehearsal Hall on the grounds of the Santa Fe Opera, Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons, May 31st through June 8th.  Andrea Fellows Walters, Director of the Education Program at the Santa Fe Opera, offers a preview of the productions.

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KUNM News Update
6:27 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Friday News Roundup: Los Alamos Container Linked To Nuke Dump Leak

Los Alamos Container Linked To Nuke Dump Leak The Associated Press

Federal officials say a radiation leak at the government's troubled nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico has been linked to waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Officials Friday said pictures from the latest entry into the half-mile deep Waste Isolation Pilot Project confirm that a container from Los Alamos has a cracked lid and evidence of heat damage.

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Local News
5:42 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Some New Mexico Lawmakers Support Cutting Student Loan Interest Rates

Proposed legislation would allow holders of old student loans to refinance at a lower rate with the federal government.
Credit credit: Nic McPhee

With college graduation right around the corner some New Mexico lawmakers are drawing attention to a bill in Congress that would allow people to refinance their old student loans with the federal government for lower interest rates.

So far 32 lawmakers have signed onto the measure, including New Mexico’s Senator Martin Heinrich, who says the government shouldn’t be in the business of predatory lending.

“I don’t think we should be financing our government operations by charging high interest rates to student loans,” Heinrich said.

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KUNM News Update
9:17 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Thursday News Roundup: Police Promote Commander In 'Excessive Force' Case

Police Promote Commander In 'Excessive Force' Case   -  The Associated Press

Albuquerque police have promoted a commander who was accused in a lawsuit of burning off part a homeless man's ear with a stun gun.

Albuquerque Police Department Chief Gorden Eden announced Thursday he was promoting two Albuquerque commanders to the newly created rank of major in response to a harsh U.S. Justice Department report critical of Albuquerque police's use of force.

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Local News
5:33 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

NM To Hold Meetings On Dairy Rule

Credit Mixxie Sixty Seven via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Environmentalists are taking aim at efforts to revamp rules that govern how the New Mexico dairy industry deals with waste water.

The Environment Department is planning the first of two meetings this Friday to address changes proposed by the industry, but a coalition of environmental groups claims the meetings are exclusive and may be a violation of state law.

State officials have said the meetings by the advisory committee will help flush out technical issues and other concerns before the matter goes before the Water Quality Control Commission later this year.

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Public Affairs
5:25 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

5th Annual Safari Run For Healthcare In Kenya

Credit The Q Speaks via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 5/15 8a: On Sunday May 18th, hundreds of people will participate in Albuquerque's 5th Annual Safari Run to raise funds for Global Health Partnerships (GHP).

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KUNM News Update
6:58 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Wednesday News Roundup: Panel Finds APD Officer Improperly Used Force

Panel: Albuquerque Officer Improperly Used Force The Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal

A police oversight panel says an Albuquerque officer improperly used force when he fired at a driver who had escaped a SWAT lockdown.

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KUNM News Update
7:02 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Tuesday News Roundup: Kitty Litter Explored In Radiation Leak

WIPP Investigators Find Melted Plastic, Rubber – The Associated Press, Carlsbad Current Argus

UPDATE: A mysterious radiation release that has indefinitely shuttered the federal government's only permanent nuclear waste dump may have been caused by a switch in the type of kitty litter that is mixed with the toxic waste.

That's one of the theories that officials are exploring.

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Local News
6:53 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Lea County Puts Out Reward On 'Water Dumpers'

A byproduct of oil and gas drilling known as produced water is being dumped on the side of county roads in the middle of the night in southeastern New Mexico.
Credit inlandwest via Flickr

Officials in Lea County want residents to help catch an oilfield company they say is dumping produced water on the side of the county roads.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that the Lea County Soil and Water Conservation District announced last week it will give out a $1,000 reward for information on the water dumpers.

Produced water is a term used in the oil industry to describe water that is produced as a byproduct along with the oil and gas.

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-KUNM Studio Sessions
3:09 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Trio Luz

Trio Luz in Studio A, full session audio.

"Trio Luz" is the impromptu name for the ensemble which delivered their first public performance in our own Studio A on May 8th.

Although the group is newly minted these musicians bring a wealth of experience to this performance of Sephardic songs; their unique orchestrations revealing a new urgency in this centuries-old tradition.  They will perform at the finale of this weekend's Festival Djudeo-Espanyol in Albuquerque.

Engineered by Roman Garcia with video by Jefferson White, "Trio Luz" are:

Consuelo Luz: vocals, charango, tamborine
Joaquin Gallegos: flamenco guitar, vocals, palmas
Jeremy Bleich: oud, melodica, vocals, palmas

Find Consuelo Luz recordings at www.consueloluz.com.

Joaquin Gallegos & Jeremy Bleich are active in the local groups Tierra Sonikete and the Kodama Trio respectively, among many others.  Find them on Facebook.

KUNM News Update
6:27 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Monday News Roundup: Court Overturns Mentally Disabled Man's Conviction

Court Overturns Mentally Disabled Man's Conviction The Associated Press

A federal appeals court has overturned a Navajo Nation resident's conviction in a sex-crime case, ruling that his confession to law enforcement agents was involuntary and shouldn't have been used during his trial.

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KUNM News Update
8:51 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Weekend News Roundup: Winds Fan 500 Acre Wildfire In Gila National Forest

Winds Fan 500 Acre Wildfire In Gila National Forest - KOAT-TV

Gusty winds are fanning the flames of a wildfire in the Gila National Forest north of Silver City near Signal Peak. 

KOAT-TV reports 100 firefighters are working to control the blaze that has grown to 500 acres.

A voluntary evacuation order has been issued for Pino Altos residents. 

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Entertainment
6:53 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Back In Her Hometown With An Autobiographical One-Woman Show

Lisandra Tena

  Actress Lisandra Tena had a hit in Chicago in 2012 with her show, "Guera," which recounts her experiences growing up in Albuquerque.  From May 16th through the 25th, Lisandra brings the interactive show to the performing arts center at her alma mater, Working Classroom, in downtown.  Lisandra talks about her teenage years and how they've informed her work and career.

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Public Health New Mexico
3:13 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Solitary Confinement And Public Health

Credit my_southborough via Creative Commons

KUNM's Public Health correspondent Marisa Demarco recently completed a three part series on the use of solitary confinement in New Mexico prisons and jails.

A recent report co-authored by the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty and the American Civil Liberties Union New Mexico found the practice to be not only ineffective, but inhumane and expensive.  

Demarco explained to KUNM's Rita Daniels that some inmates were put in segregation for really long periods of time, over two years in one case.

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KUNM News Update
5:22 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Friday News Roundup: Court Sides With NM Regulators Over Copper Rule

Court Sides With NM Regulators Over Copper Rule   The Associated Press

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has rejected efforts by the state attorney general, environmentalists and a ranch owned by billionaire mogul Ted Turner to put on hold regulations that govern groundwater pollution by copper mines.

Attorney General Gary King and the others filed an appeal last fall to challenge the new regulations and sought to put them on hold pending the appeal.

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Local News
7:38 am
Thu May 8, 2014

What's Next For Troubled Albuquerque Police?

  Outcry over recent police shootings continues to rattle New Mexico's largest city, spreading from street protests to rowdy demonstrations in government buildings.

Angry protesters took control of an Albuquerque City Council meeting this week, demanding the police chief's firing, shouting at council members and causing such a ruckus that the panel's president adjourned the meeting. Activists vow to return to Thursday's rescheduled gathering.

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KUNM News Update
6:48 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Thursday News Roundup: New Mexico Agency Sued In Whistleblower Case

New Mexico Agency Sued In Whistleblower Case - The Associated Press and Mother Jones Magazine

Two former Economic Development Department employees have sued the agency and its top executives, alleging they were wrongly fired for trying to expose wrongdoing such as contracting violations in Gov. Susana Martinez's administration.

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Public Health New Mexico
8:13 am
Wed May 7, 2014

AG Probe Raises Questions About Health Audit’s Integrity

The Santa Fe nonprofit Easter Seals El Mirador was cleared of Medicaid fraud on Tuesday by the Attorney General's Office.
Credit Bryant Furlow / New Mexico In Depth

Last year, the state’s Human Resources Department said an audit had helped find “credible allegations of fraud” against 15 New Mexico health organizations offering services such as drug addiction treatment and suicide counseling. Though HSD kept the audit secret — from the public and the organizations themselves — the department asserted the audit's findings justified suspending Medicaid funding for the organizations.

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KUNM Call In Show
6:56 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Sexual Assault On NM College Campuses

From a rape awareness event in 2013.
Credit Wolfram Burner via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 5/8 8a: The federal government is now inquiring into the handling of sexual assault cases on 55 college campuses across the country. No New Mexico schools appear on the recently-released list of schools under investigation, but the University of New Mexico, for one, has been proactive in setting up programs related to sexual assault prevention and support for survivors of assault.  

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KUNM News Update
6:31 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Wednesday News Roundup: Protesters Vow More Pressure Over Police Shootings

Protesters Vow More Pressure Over Police Shootings  The Associated Press, Russell Contreras

Critics of the Police Department are promising to crowd another Albuquerque City Council meeting to protest recent police shootings just days after rowdy demonstrators forced city leaders to call off their discussions.

Nora Tachias-Anaya says protesters are planning to attend a rescheduled council meeting Thursday and will continue to criticize the Albuquerque Police Department.

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Public Health New Mexico
3:49 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Solitary Confinement in New Mexico: Part 3

Credit e-MagineArt.com

Nataura Powdrell remembers one inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center who refused to take his meds. When the jail’s mental health staff tried to talk about it, he explained he didn’t want to become stable. Because then he’d be released from jail.

Then, he knew from experience, he would run through the 30-day supply of medication that the jail provides to exiting inmates. He would have a psychotic break. And he’d go find heroin so he could get comfortable with the voices in his head.

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Local News
7:14 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Border Patrol Line Hazy On Medical Marijuana

Lawmakers are asking Border Patrol agents in New Mexico to respect the states medical marijuana laws.
Credit Wiki Creative Commons

New Mexico’s Democratic Congressional delegation is teaming up with a state lawmaker in an appeal to the US Customs and Border Patrol to change their policy of seizing medical marijuana. 

The federal government has said as long as states abide by 8 specific guidelines - like not selling marijuana to minors or allowing people to drive under the influence – they won’t prosecute for marijuana. However, Border Patrol agents continue to confiscate medical pot. 

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KUNM News Update
5:42 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Tuesday News Roundup: No Fraud Charges Against Provider By New Mexico

No Fraud Charges Against Provider By New MexicoThe Associated Press

 Attorney General Gary King's office says investigators found about $34,000 in overbillings by a Santa Fe-based mental health provider but nothing to justify bringing fraud charges.

King said in a statement Tuesday there was "no actionable evidence of fraud" by Easter Seals El Mirador.

CEO Mark Johnson said he was not surprised, but he was "absolutely delighted that we've been exonerated."

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